The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #1
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing
Published on: August 20, 2013
Genres: Young Adult
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It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.
But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.
Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.
The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.
I sit to write this review, with all of the melancholy that comes when ending a thrilling reading adventure, and realizing that I’ll have to wait for the next book to come out. And, oh yes, did I mention I read this before the release date so I’m pining away for book #2 already. How will I go on? What will I read that will compare? If you are any kind of booklover, you’ll know what I’m going through… This is what I want to go through every time I read a book. Well it is and it isn’t; but I think you get the gist: which is that I loved this book.
Bone Season, is the debut novel of the young author, Samantha Shannon. A name you will be hearing a lot of and for good reason. Themes of oppression, trust and loyalty are just a few of many that push this compelling story along at a perfect pace. She has crafted a believable dystopian futuristic story of a clairvoyant race that are hunted and presumably executed for practicing anything mystic. There is a bustling criminal underworld in Scion-controlled London, which our protagonist Paige Mahoney is secretly a part of. Shannon manages to weave her story so seamlessly from the beginning. This world Paige lives in is packed with a complex hierarchy of warlords, clairvoyants and city officials.
There is an art in the way the reader is given these granular bits of information at perfect intervals in the story. Yes the “info dumps” did occur at various points, but the author constructed the story in such a way, that I needed and devoured the information as it came. Just a couple of chapters into the book and Paige is thrust into a Colony she didn’t know existed with the Race of Raphaim, her captors. This journey is one of discovery for Paige. What made this a page turner, is that as Paige she learns about her whereabouts and captors, the reader learns with her.
Every single one of the characters in this book is multifaceted with amazing depth. But it’s really Paige, the protagonist that fittingly steals the show. She is loyal, brave and righteous. All of this is conducive to her every decision. I was never left wondering why she chose the course of action she did. I’m not saying I liked every choice, buy all of her choices were true to her character and fully explained in relation to her character. This is a huge accomplishment in keeping the reader “in” the story. Also, this is categorized as Adult, but because the protagonist is nineteen I would say this is like older YA… the best of both worlds.
I appreciate the author’s reserved use of descriptive language when referring to a character’s appearance. When Shannon does describe her characters, she does so sparingly and beautifully. Not repetitively; this allows the reader’s imagination to fill in the cracks. This is what catapulted Bone Season, out of teenybopper-ville for me. The feel of the book is mature.
I did not read any reviews, nor did I pay attention to the “blurb” about the book. I saw an article about Samantha Shannon and was intrigued because she is such a young writer. After I finished the book I went back and read the back cover blurb I was disappointed. It made this seem like a love dovey story, and this is far from that. Don’t get me wrong, there is a touch of romance but certainly not to the extent that is implied. Anyway, that is my only, tiny gripe.
This story is original. The ideas of a clairvoyant being able to jump into the minds of others and linger in someone’s “dreamscape”, are complex and explained in such detail that it was believable and easy for me to detach from reality and enjoy this amazing ride of a book. I read this in two sittings, and I could have kept on reading for hours. I fell in love with Paige and the world she lives in.